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healthy meals

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RECIPE: Skinny Enchiladas {Butternut - Pork}

So I bought a big old bag of pre-peeled & cubed butternut squash at Costco last week (game changer for those of us wanting to cut out the squash prep process!) 

I started looking for butternut squash recipes and found a real gem from www.thewholesmiths.com  but of course I wanted to put my own little spin on them. If you want a vegetarian version, check hers out, they're amazing and she's a foodie genius!

I wanted a little more substance for feeding a group so I added the Shredded pork, and the combo was divine. I also changed up the seasonings a bit, flavors and amounts, and unfortunately didn't have goat cheese (which I love) so I did shredded pepper jack instead. 

This recipe is proof that enchiladas do not need to be full of creamy canned crap, and can be vegetarian, paleo, whatever, and still taste amazing! I also think black beans would be a great addition to these bad boys, maybe next time I'll give that a go! But for now, give these a shot. PS This recipe made about 12 small corn tortilla enchiladas.

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Its Possible! 5 tips for Cooking QUICK & EASY

Alright we all know when it comes to eating healthy, prep is key! You’ve probably heard it a million times, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail! The reason so many of us eat crappy junk food in the first place is because it’s convenient! Whats more convenient than stopping at Little Caesars on your way home and picking up a $5 pizza? Hot and ready for the whole fam to stuff their faces with. Or a bag of chips you can just pop open and enjoy the salty greasy goodness ;)

Well I’m hear with some good news! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be an all day in the kitchen kind of thing. A lot of us work full time, or have mommy duties all day, I mean who has time to cook these days? Well you DO! Let me share a few of my tips for cooking healthy, quick, and efficiently. Don’t get caught up and overwhelmed with people posting about making exotic beautiful meals from scratch everyday, thats not reality, thats social media. 

First of all, you have to accept the fact that it’s never going to be quite as fast, cheap, and easy as Mcdonalds, those are just the facts. But with a tad more effort, you can have a healthy, filling meal, that won’t break the bank and taste AMAZING. It takes a bit of planning & effort, but everyone can do it! It takes commitment and deciding that you’re going to live a healthy lifestyle, feeding you and your family healthy meals. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to throw in a frozen lasagna occasionally, but just do your best! Here are my tips that should help:

 

Tip #1: Invest in a Crockpot.

If you don’t currently own a crockpot, I highly recommend you get one. This will save you time in all sorts of ways. I have so many recipes that I can just throw into the crockpot, turn it on, set the timer, and walk out the door, coming home to an amazing smelling house and dinner all ready to go. It gives you the convenience of going about your day without having to watch the oven or stove. Also, you’ll always have left overs, which will save you time throughout the week. Bonus, you’ll spend less time doing dishes! One pot meals are amazing. 

 

Tip #2: Plan Your Weeks Menu, with Strategy

Find 5-6 healthy dinner recipes you want on the menu for the week, allowing for a night out on the weekend (if you want help with this part reply to this post and I’ll hook you up with all sorts of good recipes). Plan so that the first couple of nights you make a crockpot meal, a soup, or something with lots of leftovers that you can utilize throughout the week for lunches or breakfast. For example, this week I made a big batch of Lentil Soup Monday night, and Tuesday night I made shredded pork in the crockpot. Both were large batches that I’ve been using for lunches, eliminating extra time in the kitchen for sure. 

 

Tip #3: Utilize half prepped ingredients

Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s and awesome ingredients! Ok Trader Joe’s isn’t the only place you can find pre-prepped ingredients, but I’ve just found a lot of my favorites here. Don’t think you have to do everything from scratch. Take advantage of swift time savers such as pre-riced cauliflower (its a mess to do it on your own!), sliced jicama, or pre-cubed and peeled butternut squash, or awesome low-sugar sauces (enchilada sauce & curry sauce from Trader Joe’s are awesome for crockpot meat recipes) that add flavor to any meal. I’ll be posting a lot of these products in my Friday Favorites post this Friday so stay tuned! Still go for whole, unprocessed ingredients, but take advantage of a little pre-prepped help. 

 

Tip #4: Always make extra

When you’re making a meal, always think about what you can do to save you time later on. If you’re making a salad, get out a few tupperware containers while you’re at it and just make multiple salads in one setting, packed and ready to enjoy that week. If you’re slicing vegetables for dinner, slice more and put them in baggies for a healthy snack while you’re at it. If you’re boiling water, get some eggs out and hard boil a few for the week. If you’re making rice or quinoa, double the batch and put what you don’t eat in the fridge. This will become second nature with experience and practice.

 

Tip #5: Multi-task your cooking

This tip is geared towards having success with a 20-30 minute meal. I start by getting all of my ingredients out that I will be using for the meal and figuring out what part of the meal is going to take the longest to cook or bake and I get that going first. So if I’m having sweet potatoes with my meal, I’ll get those in the oven first thing, then I prep everything else while those are baking. Or if I’m having fish, I’ll prep that, get it in the oven, then in those 15-20 minutes of bake time I make my salad or veggies, and then everything is done at once! 

 

Well there you have it, my 5 tips for being quick and efficient in the kitchen. It may seem overwhelming and daunting at first if you’re not used to cooking or if you don’t even like it. But trust me, practice makes perfect, and by cooking your own meals you will always know what you’re putting in your body, giving you control. You will also save money! Don’t get caught up with thinking it needs to be perfect or thinking every meal has to be fancy. Just keep it simple and try new flavors! Enjoy! leave a comment with any questions or recipe requests

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EAT REAL FOOD: Nutrition Crash Course with Brit!

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EAT REAL FOOD: Nutrition Crash Course with Brit!

Being a trainer I've learned more and more the importance of fueling your body right. You can't heal your body without the nutrition side of the equation. I've put together this Video Blog post to explain my view on nutrition and give a quick crash course to what my approach is and what you can learn and practice with being a client of mine! I've also provided my written script for the video if you rather read that watch my face haha totally understandable! hope you enjoy :)

"I wanted to do a quick overview and crash course of my whole philosophy and guidance on nutrition. This will be an intro to the approach I take and what you’ll learn with me as your trainer. We are constantly bombarded with different eating rules and diets that it can be so hard to sort through all the information and figure out whats right, what we should be listening to, and whats going to work for us and our goals.

Well being in the fitness industry world for a few years now I’ve done a lot of reading and testing what works best for me and my clients. I’m going to simplify the whole thing for you. “EAT REAL FOOD” (write it on a paper sign). As simple as this sounds, it can be a little tricky still. Over time, we have lost touch with what real food is and our relationship with food has been distorted.

First off I want to clear up the word “Diet”. When we hear the word “Diet” most of us cringe thinking - restrictive, calorie counting, hunger, guilt, broccoli, I don’t know, just all these things that are often associated with the word diet. Well when I refer to “Diet” I simply mean how we eat, what we put into our bodies. Along with that, I want you to forget about ideas of calorie counting, “fat free” diets, “gluten free”, Paleo, Macro counting, food timing, weighing your food, any of that stuff, forget about it. I'm not saying all these things are horrible, I’m just removing the labels that your mind may be associating with “diet” and simplifying it with “EAT REAL FOOD”. This means knowing whats in our food, and avoiding chemicals & fake ingredients. Basically you should either have no food labels (because you don’t need it - fruits, vegetables) or you should be able to pronounce all the ingredients & know what it is on the label. 

Lets talk about macros. First of all, what are macros or macronutrients? These are Fats, Proteins, and Carbs. 

I want to talk about FATS first, there’s a lot of clearing up to do here. Fats have had a bad rap for a while, especially saturated fats. The food industry had mass amounts of industrial crops so they decided to turn it into oil. This was a BAD idea. Back 60-70 years ago, these fake oils replaced real oils (such as butter) in many situations and homes, and this has led to a lot of the health issues today. This oil became so cheap and available that they put it in EVERYTHING, and these food industries made a lot of money! On most labels of processed foods you’ll see these crop based oils such as Soybean, Canola, peanut, corn. These are chemical filled fake oils. Stay away! We want natural oils, which include, real grass fed butter (thats right, you don’t need to be afraid of butter anymore), coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil. Some other great sources of fats are nuts & seeds, salmon, avocado, eggs. And just a note on eggs, Dietary cholesterol (or cholesterol that is in the food we eat) has no correlation with the cholesterol levels in our blood. So egg yolks are totally great, and meat. All animal products contain cholesterol, but it won’t cause high cholesterol in our bodies, just want to clear that up.

Next up is Protein. Protein is so important. It's responsible for our bodies maintaining and repairing tissues, especially muscle tissue in our bodies. If you want to maintain or add lean muscle mass, protein is essential. We want to get protein from the most natural sources we can. So choosing free range chickens for meat and eggs, grass fed beef, as close to the source as we can get with dairy products. What our food sources eat goes into our bodies as well, so if our animals are eating all of those industrial crop products with chemicals, those chemicals are going in our bodies as well. We'll talk about the problem with this in a later session about omega 3's and omega 6 balance. And I know it gets expensive to do this, so all I suggest is do your best. Maybe this week you try free range eggs, and then next week you get grass fed beef. Just do what you can. and its a lot cheaper than all the drugs and pills that you may need down the road prescribed by doctors! just sayin :)  Women should be eating about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, and men could be consuming up to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Depending on goals this could be reduced a bit.

Third is Carbohydrates. There are a TON of misconceptions about carbohydrates. low-carb, high-carb, no-carb, sugar-free, what to do! So basically any carb source in its simplest form inside your body gets broken down into sugar, which are body uses for energy. Carbohydrates are an awesome source of energy and our bodies need carbs, but where we go wrong is with the amount. most of us do not need the amount of carbs we consume and it gets stored as fat in our bodies. Most of us aren’t running through the forest hunting dinner every night, or biking as our main source of transportation. We need to get back in tune with when our body needs the extra fuel from carbs, and when we don’t. Also get back in tune with cravings vs hunger. Sugar is addicting, and I claim that as a fact. So most of the time we want carbs or sugars, we're not really hungry, we're just listening to those addictive cravings. Carbs spike our blood sugar levels which effect our energy levels throughout the day. Thats why most of the people going to eat a sandwich & chips and a soda on their lunch break come back to work feeling that 2-3pm energy slump. Its an energy roller coaster when carbs are your main source. We can neutralize this with fats and proteins in our diet. By the way, Carbs come from lots of sources, most familiar is breads, pastas, crackers, cookies, sugar, but vegetables and fruits are carbs as well! And I don’t think we need to avoid grains and breads & sugar all together, but just be mindful of when your body needs it. So if we’re climbing a mountain tomorrow, ya I”m going to have a bowl of oats in the morning with some fruit, and I’m gonna stir some coconut oil in there as well for that fat source. I know i’m going to use that fuel on my hike. Or before a long run, I'll have a piece of toast with nut butter and banana for my fuel source. But avoid eating a big bowl of cereal or muffin before you go sit at your desk all day. So the idea is to shift our mindset and habits from this carb binge, fat fearing state of mind, to a balanced, real food, mindful eating approach, and fueling our body for what it needs. Using food as a fuel source rather than this horrible thing that makes us fat!

How do we make the shift? Our culture and mainstream grocery stores and food sources make carbs so prevalent and convenient and cheap!  Whats more convenient than a pack of easy cheese and pretzel sticks and a hot pocket? or a pop-tart? I mean seriously its like magic! Well in order to make this healthy eating a reality, we need to make the healthy options as convenient and second nature as we can. First of all, knowing in your mind what a healthy plate looks like is key. With this embedded into your brain you can build a healthy meal wherever you are! Sometimes you’ll have better options than other times, but just doing your best in whatever situation is key. So this is what the government food plate guideline is today (show picture). They have grains as big as vegetables, and then fruits and proteins a little smaller, and then dairy in your cup. Well one problem I see is that 3 out of the 4 sections are carbs, and 2nd problem is that their is no room for fats. So I’m gonna X this one and show you my plate guide. (show new picture) First off, you got your protein source here. Whether thats Turkey, Eggs, Tofu, a mix of Quinoa & meat, or cottage cheese. Then you have your Vegetables. Vegetables at every meal! yes even breakfast. There’s so many ways to sneak vegetables in. I always load my eggs with chopped veggies, you can buy a big bag of frozen veggies if thats more convenient for you (aim for organic if you’re doing frozen because they’re picked at the right time and no chemicals used), spinach or kale in your smoothies, there’s lots of options! But get veggies in every meal. and then you have your fat. This is key to help you feel full, to stabilize your blood sugar levels, curb your cravings, and perform your best. This is why so many diets fail and people get HANGRY because they aren’t eating enough fats. Fats are super important for our cognitive function as well, so we will be able to think and focus so much better. This fat on the plate can be avocado, Olive Oil with your veggies, butter on your sweet potato, Chopped nuts on your salad, there’s lots of options there too. And in the cup I just put water! So many of us aren’t drinking enough water. A lot of the times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty, so I always tell my clients to carry a water bottle, and if they have a craving, take a drink first and see if the craving continues. 

So you can build this healthy plate in a lot of situations. At the salad bar, get your lettuce, topped with lots of veggies, a protein, and some nuts & dressing for your fat. A Burrito bowl with guacamole, etc. Along with knowing how to build your plate, meal prep is another key to success! You don't have to go crazy and measure out all your little tupperwares for the week, but just be smart and efficient with your time in the kitchen. ALWAYS make extra when your cooking and put it in a tupperware for tomorrows breakfast or lunch. Spend a couple hours one evening to do some crock pot meat, Chop up veggies for the week, and boil a bunch of eggs. You’ll be set. almost as convenient as a hot pocket ;)

My quick recap is remember to EAT REAL FOODS, • Fats are good (natural fats), • Avoid chemicals, if you can’t say it or know where it came from, you probably shouldn’t eat it, • and remember how to build your plate, Veggies, Protein, Fats, Water! 

So there you have it. Episode 1 of my Nutrition crash course. Next time I’ll be talking about Sugars & artificial sweeteners and supplements. :) and please comment with any questions you have at all. I’ll try to answer them best I can! and share this with any friends or family members you think may enjoy it! Thanks guys!

 

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30 - Days Back on Track..... Join the Challenge!

SIGN UP NOW AVAILABLE!! click here

Summer's come and gone, we've had our trips, we've soaked up rays, we've ate our fair share of s'mores, popcicles, and icecream, kids are ready for school (and so are the moms!), and it just sort of feels right to get back on track with our fitness! September is a month to reset some goals, create some healthy habits, and enjoy the awesome produce thats in season right now! 

Well I have just the thing for you! Join in my 30 Day Fitness Challenge that I've designed to fit your needs! Whether you're a student going back to college this fall, or a mom juggling everyones schedules, or going back to a new work schedule and feel like you're always on the go!

This guide includes quick and effective workouts that will change your body, rev up your metabolism, burn fat, and strenthen muscle and endurance. With this daily functional training you will be able to run further, jump higher, pick up your kids, carry your groceries, hike a mountain, whatever this crazy life throws at you! But best of all you will look and feel AMAZING! 

Combine the workout endorphins with the meals I've planned for you and you have the perfect combo. The meals and recipes were put together with you in mind. They are quick, simple, and affordable! You'll even get a healthy lunch packing guide each week! Learn how to meal prep for healthy lunches to pack with you whatever your week has in store. 

The focus will be on creating healthy habits, one week at a time. We will be setting goals and checking in on eachother. 

If all of this wasn't enough, you'll also have the chance to win some awesome prizes as extra motivation! I'm awarding your hard work and dedication with my favorite protein powder, bars, shoes, and a free month of training with me! How cool is that?

Make sure you tell your workout buddies so you can all keep each other on track and lets do this! Hurry and sign up before September 1st and start the month with a bang.

I'll see ya there!  

SAMPLE PAGE FROM THE PROGRAM

SAMPLE PAGE FROM THE PROGRAM

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